Blog.Dec 02, 2014

Day One in Lima: Where is the Water?

The big questions are: will COP20 be able to pave the way for a binding treaty in 2015? And where is the water?

The unpredictability of water availability as a result of climate change was highlighted in the IPCC 5th Assessment report as a key factor that will impact humans and societies. One might therefore assume that water and water management would feature heavily in the negotiations here in Lima. Unfortunately, some digging into the convention text was required in order to find references to either.

Irony is not lost on the long lines of delegates queuing for drinking water in the Peruvian summer heat. Despite this, a cautious optimism surrounds the venue. Host country Peru has invested enormous resources to be able to host delegates from more than 190 nations. There is a sense of urgency in the air.

The Peruvian government’s engagement and investment in the global climate negotiations is easily understandable. Listed as one the countries to be worst hit by climate change, Peru is predicted to see one of the greatest temperature changes. Coupled with its high mountains, dry deserts, and abundant poverty, the country is more vulnerable than most.